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January 3, 2007

When we were young I used to be afraid to come to your house. The Beware of Dogs sign and the way they barked and growled storming the gate. But once inside I loved playing with the shepherd mixes, one was white and one was brindle. They reminded me of wolves and stirred something wild in me. I was afraid of the room in your house where your uncle had died years before and it was always remarkably cold in there, with his haunting presence even in the summertime. I loved hanging out in your room that was hidden away in an upstairs nook, at the back of the house and two steps down to a sunken room with navy blue carpet. The top of your dresser was decorated with girlie trinkets, baubles and beads, hair pins, and combs, Avon lip balms in fruity flavors and funky 80's jewelry. We listened to pop music, ate Mentos and talked about boys. We practiced our Lionel Ritchie All Night Long hand slap until we had it down like the video on MTV. In the summertime we went to the brook and played the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Sometimes we met with other friends from the neighborhood and sometimes you walked to my house and I walked to yours. We stood in the big lawn with my boom box under the moon light on Halloween and we played Michael Jacksons Thriller and did the zombie dance ...and in those silly little moments I knew what it was like to have a best friend. Your mother wouldn't let me call your house anymore after the night I snuck out to go to a party. I was devastated and ashamed. But it taught me the importance of loyalty and friendship. To this day I'm still not allowed to call your parents house. But we passed notes in Western Civilization class and signed them BFF. We kept in touch long after you moved and I'm glad we're still friends even though you live so far away.

As a teenager I went to your house and every time we had to pass through the breezeway where your mom had a collection of exotic plants and a lot of wicker. The cats hung out there and your little Dachshund Candy would waddle in to greet me. Your mom was always in the kitchen and garden smells would linger. Vine ripe tomatoes, green bell peppers and fresh cut salads that you ate with every meal. I thought it was cool that she called the bathroom the Loo, in her British accent and your Dad always made me laugh. We'd go upstairs to your room that was covered in pink. There were several shades of pink splashed on the walls and a pink quilt on your bed. You had a big pink dollhouse which I didn't really understand, dolls scared me at night in the dark, their blue eyes staring at me, but I never let on. Directly across the room from the dollhouse was a record player. We listened to your Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Rolling Stones albums after school and we covered for your brother when he and his friends would sneak in and out of your window where the ladder was strategically placed. We walked everywhere, back when it was safe enough for teenage girls to walk in a small town. We walked through the camp, to each others house, to the movies, to parties. We walked home on the train tracks and you got paranoid whenever a bull frog would gribbet at night so you dug your nails into my arm every time they croaked for the whole walk home. We camped and went to school dances. We told our parents we were sleeping at each others houses but we always ended up somewhere else, didn't we? We got ourselves out of situations that were scary looking back. Like being chased on foot by moving cars and having a creepy stranger with yellow eyes walk into our tent in the middle of the woods. You were there the first time I got drunk on a six pack of Miller and I threw up on rock. You held my hair and rubbed my back. You were there when we needed to escape and we sat on a hill and smoked and philosophized and theorized until we had it all figured out. And life made more sense then under the foggy moonlight than it ever had before. We didn't always agree but we talked and we worked at it because we know what our friendship means. Just like now.

Out in the country down an old dirt road two lots away from a pond and a field, set back into the quiet New England hillside was your childhood home tucked away amongst the evergreens. I loved swimming in your pool and spending time in your kitchen with your mom and your Nanny goat and Kitty Rat and little brother running around in his Spiderman underoos. When we had the munchies there was always a warm Steakum sandwich made with love and care. Nothing has ever tasted quite as good. We rode our bikes down windy trails and we sat by the pond skipping stones. We sang Julian Lennon songs and ruminated over life's big plan, wondering what it had in store. Sitting on a Pebble by the River Playing Guitar. Your bedroom was upstairs back then, before you moved to the finished basement and you shared the space with your sister on one side and you on the other. She threw hot hair rollers at you from her side and I remember thinking I was glad I didn't have a sister because they all must be mean. We went to the races with your uncle and we snuck off to go meet boys. We told our folks we were walking to the movies only we didn't go to see movies. We went to keg parties and bonfires and drank grain alcohol instead and we ate Olympic pizza to sober up before walking home. Like the time we were rabidly starving, mouths watering, hungrier than we'd ever been before. You spent your last $10.00 on a medium pizza and a pitcher of root beer. I was telling you a story using my hand and it flung out of control knocking the pitcher of soda onto our pizza, ruining the entire meal and wasting your last dime. But you never got mad; you laughed the whole way home. You slept over my house and we listened to the Doors. You had a secret crush on my brother and fifteen years later you married him while I stood at your left side. We still laugh about the pizza from time to time.

We were strangers at first. You were in college and I was at my first real job. We were thrown together by pure chance, becoming roommates in a 2 year house share. We bonded right away. You came into my room and played with my pet Iguana, Mr. Mojo Risin'. You listened to my awful dark poetry and I helped you study for your Philosophy class and Plato's Agape, which is funny because it sums up our friendship in its Grecian form. Our lake house was hopping; it was the place to be. You taught me how to cook non fat foods and we moaned about how icky our boy roommate was with his long black hair stuck in the drain, clogging the tub and a ring of slime. On the weekends we followed the band and were the first ones on the dance floor. They played Tie Your Mother Down for you and Smells Like Teen Spirit for me. We had big hair and waify frames. I dressed in Levis and grunge tops and you wore leather minis and low hanging chain belts. We laughed and cried in crowded restrooms and then we had Sunday dinner, together. We moved out and went our separate ways but I knew it wouldn't last. Now we lunch over sushi and shopping dates and mani pedis with a soft and spiritual understanding that's lovely. When I was in the hospital you were the first one at my side, rubbing my feet and yelling at the nurse to take better care. When you heard Pugsley was sick, you were the first to call. When I don't have plans, you invite me along to join in yours. Thank you.

Posted by Lori on January 3, 2007 8:50 PM permalink



ScallyWag commented January 3, 2007 11:44 PM

I was on my email, when I noticed you just updated your blog. I went straight here after reading the title, "girlfriends"!! I was secretly hoping I was a part of this post. WHY? Because I have all those GREAT memories too and I cried reading what you remembered about US and the times we shared!!

It means alot to know you think about me mainly because I think of you and of course the sausage everyday!!!! I keep a photo of me and you at my 1st computer. You are in back of me pulling my hair up on both sides and I am making a funny face. It is hilarious because I look silly and we are cracking up.

I also remember your dark, cold room, making mac and cheese and I swear...hotdogs??!! I remember your bed was in the left corner of the room and you had to bring the phone in with a cord about a mile long! I remember tripping up your driveway with all the huge rocks and getting bit by mosquitos in the woods. I remember smoking a salem, it was my first and last cig....it was minty and stinky all at once.

Thanks for the great memories, I needed this!!!!!!!!!!!love you!!!!!!!!!



sl commented January 4, 2007 1:22 PM

Awwwww this reserves a worthy response... I agree with ScallyWag it was all those things...nice to be included, remembered and appreciated. I'll be back to post more but unfortunately I'm at work at the moment. Just finishing up a lunch break far away from you and your mile a minute hands resulting in an inevitable spillage ;-)

Love, YFSL



skippymom commented January 4, 2007 3:01 PM

What a beautiful, thoughtful post. And your friend's response above? Just lovely!

Hugs, SkippyMom



Punchbugpug commented January 4, 2007 3:11 PM

What a great post! Hang on to all those details!!!!!



Barb commented January 4, 2007 9:39 PM

Wow Lori!! this entry totally takes me back to my childhood days. I hope your girlfriends know how lucky they are!! I loved this post!



Jana commented January 5, 2007 6:04 PM

I loved reading this post, it sounds like you have some wonderfull memories.



Carla commented January 5, 2007 7:32 PM

this is a great piece! thank you for sharing your memories with us!


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